ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

UrbanizationSubscribe to Urbanization

Urbanicity and Health

Urban health outcomes are characterised by an epidemiologically diverse disease burden and an unequal distribution of the same, which mirrors these contrasts. This paper does a preliminary investigation of disease profiles across size-class of urban settlements in India, with a special focus on non-communicable diseases, using data from the 75th round of the National Sample Survey. This is the first such attempt using nationally representative data. This work has the potential to inform health as well as integrated urban development policies in the country. The work also holds lessons for the expansionary private health sector, which often underserves the smaller urban settlements.

COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Engage with Urban Malnutrition Challenge: Preliminary Insights from India

As the world is urbanising fast, a growing body of literature highlights malnutrition as an imminent urban challenge, further compounded by the outbreak of COVID-19. The nutrition policy discourse, however, is yet to accommodate this shift. In fact, it continues to exhibit a rural bias. This itself has partly been reinforced by the absence of authoritative evidence on urban malnutrition. Based on preliminary analysis of Indian data, this paper examines whether there is urbanisation of child malnutrition. The paper finds that urban India is witnessing a decline in nutrition advantage. While for less urbanised states, urban child stunting is relatively higher, in more urbanised states, urban child wasting is a challenge. Given that wasting is an indicator of acute malnutrition, it is partly attributable to lack of adequate food. Though it might be early to connect this to a looming hunger crisis, growing child wasting questions the claims of food security in urban India. Seeing this further in context of implications of COVID-19 provides a potential basis for broadening of the nutrition policy agenda.

Reconceptualising India's Civilisational Basis

Questioning the aggressive pursuit of the urban-industrial versionof development which is resource-intensive and anti-poor, this article proposes a radical rethink of the current development practices as well as a reconceptualisation of our civilisational basis. Ruralisation, an alternative development paradigm, which entails creation of self-sufficient villages and urban republics with attached common pool resources, can be adopted to promote equitable and sustainable local economic development and decentralised governance.

Recycling the Urban

The paper explores the interfaces of urbanisation, settlement practices, and issues of labour migration and displacement in contemporary Kolkata. It starts with interrogating a historical narrative of urbanisation and zoning practices in the city in the 1960s and picks out few threads which still seem relevant in studies of contemporary modes of urbanisation. It studies in some detail the practice of "thika tenancy" in the Kolkata slums--the most prominent site of habitation of the migrant workers in the city. It challenges the hypothesis of the "bypass model" of urbanisation in Kolkata and introduces the concept of "urban recycling," which facilitates a continuous juxtaposition of displacement and accumulation of human and other resources as part of the urbanisation process.

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